Bo steps up his campaign with Red Microblog

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 12:00am

Chongqing Communist Party boss Bo Xilai is pushing his already vigorous 'red culture' campaign to a new level with the launch of a microblogging website to promote his revolutionary image and political philosophies.

The site - run by, website of the Communist Party Chongqing committee's propaganda department - was named the Red Microblog by the operators.

'I really like the words below by Chairman Mao [Zedong] that 'The world is ours; we should work together',' one of Bo's messages read. In response, the website operators put the quote on the homepage of the microblogging site, using typeface and designs similar to the style for Mao's quotations during the Cultural Revolution.

A statement on the homepage said the launch followed the instructions of Li Changchun, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, which urged low-level authorities to master new media.

'The Red Microblog is aimed at expanding the influence and the coverage of our campaign,' the statement said, adding that it was a way to help the public have a closer connection with the red culture campaign that has been ongoing for more than a year in Chongqing.

Since Bo took the party secretary's position in Chongqing about three years ago, he has constantly made headlines with a series of campaigns highlighting the party's revolutionary tradition.

He had asked citizens of Chongqing to sing 'red' songs, read classical literature and tell revolutionary stories. They have also been encouraged to write text messages praising the country or the city, or describing how they have been inspired. These were named 'red text messages' by officials. China Central Television said that by October more than 120 million such text messages had been sent by local residents.

Early last month, Bo also said more than 750,000 students from the mainland's largest municipality should spend at least four months of their four-year studies working with workers, farmers or People's Liberation Army's soldiers. The campaign also sought to remind the public that during the Cultural Revolution tens of thousands of young students were sent to the countryside on Mao's instruction.

Vice-President Xi Jinping showed his approval of Bo's initiatives during his visit to Chongqing this month.

The Red Microblog was officially launched a week ago, and the user with the most messages posted had more than 24,800 viewer hits by late last night. But the user, who was registered as a female from Guangzhou, mentions nothing about revolution, instead posting mainly information about her personal life in Cantonese style.

Some other mainland microbloggers from platforms such as Sina's Weibo and Twitter said the new site contained some funny material.

'It is all black humour,' He Sanwei, a senior editor for the Southern People Weekly, said on Weibo yesterday.